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UBC Theses and Dissertations

"An intertidal voyage" : a qualitative study of six children’s understanding of the physical adaptations and survival behaviours of intertidal organisms Scott, Sandra A.

Abstract

An Intertidal Voyage is a case study of children's understanding of the survival behaviours and physical adaptations of intertidal organisms. The intent of the study was to analyze and interpret student language and to document the changes in student knowledge as they explored the seashore. Six students participated in three individual interviews and nine group field trips. The first interview determined the student's prior seashore knowledge and interviews two and three revealed changes in their knowledge. The field trips enabled the students to explore, investigate, observe, and discuss the inhabitants of the intertidal zone. The student's use of descriptive language and metaphor was recorded during the interviews and field trips and is presented through the students' styles of knowing of aesthete, scientist, and warrior. The findings of "An Intertidal Voyage" showed that field trips enhance student learning. The students employed descriptive language and metaphor to express their seashore knowledge and retained their preferred style of knowing throughout the study. The study shows that students used their previous knowledge as a bridge to new ideas. The findings also highlight the importance of a facilitator in experiential learning and demonstrate that students learn in social situations as they interpret new knowledge and exchange ideas through observation and discussion. As the study progressed the students developed a sense of environmental stewardship for the seashore and expressed an awareness and appreciation of the inhabitants of the intertidal zone.

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